I just returned from yet another magical Girl Hunter Weekend. There is something about these weekends, every single time I say to myself, “wow, I couldn’t have hand picked a better group of women to come together as total strangers and bond as if they had known each other for years.” I feel very lucky to witness and take part in this sort of togetherness.
So before I go any further and show you the highlights, I’ve been getting a lot of inquiries as to how one learns about these events in the future.
All you have to do is: sign up for my Newsletter on the top right hand column of this website.
The weekend took place at Barnsley Gardens in Adairsville, Georgia. I had heard about this place but I had no idea just how spectacular it would be. It far surpassed my expectations.
The grounds are full of small beautiful houses and you get your own little house when you stay there. This was mine.
My photos aren’t doing them justice, but they are wonderful.
The beds are the kind you never want to leave.
And the bathrooms are big and…
Have this magnificent thing in them.
Use it. Use it often.
They even left me a special package of deliciousness.
The meals were also wonderful and surprising and creative all at once. Much more than I was expecting. Truffled potato chips in London newspaper? Yes please!
Pear and stilton salad? Yes please.
Marble Farms pork chop with prosciutto crust and polenta cake? Mmmhmmm.
Key lime pie?
I’m on a diet now.
But there was more…. this fabulous lady brought her own retractable s’mores fork in her purse, for….
Our s’mores bonfire!
We had little s’mores packages and sticks and made ourselves a second and third dessert. I say third because the chef spontaneously brought us a homemade fried doughnut with bananas foster just for good measure, after dessert.
I’m on a diet.
I love a good fire.
And a woman who carries a s’mores fork in her purse.
Speaking of my love of fireplaces, each room has its own. I used mine often. Whenever humanly possible. Every room in life should have a fireplace.
I also used this whenever humanly possible. It was pure heaven.
For breakfast we had Bourbon soaked berries. It was the right way to start the day.
We gathered on the sun porch which I think is my favorite room in all of Barnsley Gardens.
This was our magical menu.
Then we got ourselves together at the sporting club and divided up and went clay shooting and quail hunting in our groups.
At Springbank Sporting Club they have these fabulous Jeeps that make you feel like you’re going on safari.
The terrain was beautiful and colorful.
And the dogs were splendid.
It was a joy to go out with women, some of whom were hunting for the first time in their lives, and be able to experience that first adventure with them.
This is my new baby… I posted a picture on my Facebook page a few months ago asking which shotgun I should purchase… this is what I went for… the Silver Pigeon V.
There is something so beauteous about quail country, don’t you think?
These gals have been best friends for a long time and they experienced this together.
That’s some girl bonding.
Her first hunt and her first quail. How cool is she?
Fun times with our Gordon Setter.
We ate some more at lunch time. In this lovely chapel structure.
I’m on a diet.
Then we went out again in the field and at night ate some more.
I’m on a diet.
The whole place is lit up like this at night. I love it. It’s pure romance.
I had my favorite drink, too. Can you guess what it is?
Extra cherries are an important thing in life.
My friends at Springbank Plantation gave me this for my feather collection because I’m working on a technicolor dream coat. I’ll let you know when it makes its debut.
The next morning we had our bird cleaning class and our cooking class.
They were excellent students.
Look how studious they are!
She was really good at bird cleaning. She named him George.
We made stuffed quail with dates, goat cheese and thyme, lovingly wrapped in bacon. A version of this recipe with doves can be found here.
I’m on a diet.
These are some of the pretty houses at Barnsley.
This was mine!
I loved that each one was different. Makes you want to keep coming back to try all of them out.
Love, love this one.
But you know what I love even more? This hedge maze that leads to an amazing historic ruin on the grounds.
It was the first estate in the south to have real plumbing so I hear.
At first you think, “oh too bad a tornado took the roof off.” But then once you go in…
You kind of wish more houses had retractable roofs. Like the way cars do. Maybe that will be the next invention? You heard it here first folks!
Sometimes they do events here… like weddings for example.
If you and I get married, let’s get married here, K?
At night it is lit up with lights so that you can see its contour from afar.
This is the historian who will tell you allll about it.
After our little ruins tour, we split up… some of us had “tea” by the fire pit.
And some of us went on a pheasant shoot.
One of the fellow hunters. I like a man who can rock a kilt.
One of the gals from our Texas contingency brought back some serious pheasant from the shoot. She wears it well, don’t you think?
I heart Texas.
There was even a puppy to love on.
And after allll that, we even got a tour of the wine cellar… it is one of the most elaborate wine cellars in the south. FUN times. Eye candy!
I sported the latest addition to my shot shell jewelry collection thanks to Girl Hunter Weekend sponsor Key of A. It’s their valentines necklace!!
And then to finish things off with a real bang… was the Bourbon Dinner.
This was serious stuff my friends. Serious stuff.
Look at the menu!
Look at the tray of Bourbon! I love me some Bourbon.
And then, of course, there was Marjorie. She stays at Barnsley for a month at a time, about twice a year. She is from Alabama and she has a house there that she always stays in that has her own art on the walls.
She made her own drinks behind the bar when the bartender was busy.
She danced with us and sang with us and we loved her.
We sang and sang…
And listened to the live music and made requests.
Sipped wine and chatted away.
And laughed. Oh how we laughed the whole weekend long.
And danced the night away.